Read Alliance Expanding its Literacy Program Within and Outside of New York
Read Alliance is a nonprofit dedicated to tutoring striving readers in New York’s five boroughs, providing them with the building blocks to academic success through phonics instruction. Over the past year, Read Alliance has embarked on a notable geographical expansion and has recently formed an Expansion Committee to guide that process. Mark Moore, counsel to Reavis Page Jump, has served on the Read Alliance board for ten years, is a member of the Expansion Committee, and is chair of its Governance Committee.
Read Alliance’s curriculum reinforces foundational reading skills in kindergarten, first, and second grade. The Read Alliance program has consistently led to a full year’s growth in reading skills for each student after just one program cycle. While early literacy remains at the core of its mission, its unique model also employs teens from the same community to provide one-on-one tutoring to their younger peers, tackling a secondary challenge, youth unemployment, particularly among low-income, young people of color. Its Teen Leader tutoring role is a meaningful, paid job that also elevates young peoples’ roles as “near peer” mentors. Read Alliance has paid over $1.2 million in well-deserved wages to its Teen Leaders over the past three years. Moreover, leadership training for the Teen Leaders provided by Read Alliance and its supporters fosters community-wide empowerment. Since its founding in 2000, the organization has served over 18,000 students and 15,000 Teen Leaders.
In the wake of the pandemic, which has led to enormous learning loss nationwide, Read Alliance is expanding its one-on-one literacy tutoring program, both within and beyond the five boroughs. With a successful pilot program in the Reading, Pennsylvania school system, launched in 2021 , Read Alliance has formed an Expansion Committee made up of dedicated board members and other stakeholders, to identify key aspects of its program which can be replicated and sustained in other communities across the nation which have an interest and willingness to partner. In particular, Read Alliance will prioritize maintaining its highly effective dual impact model where Teen Leaders from local communities provide tutoring in foundational reading skills to striving readers.
At a time when high dosage tutoring has been identified as a promising practice to mitigate severe learning loss amidst the pandemic and where phonics has been confirmed as the most effective way to teach young children the basics of reading, Read Alliance has incorporated both strategies into its unique model for two decades and is poised to grow.
This article is intended as a general discussion of these issues only and is not to be considered legal advice or relied upon. For more information, please contact RPJ Counsel Mark Moore who counsels clients on employment disputes, disputes in a university setting, securities matters, intellectual property issues, and other commercial matters. Mr. Moore is admitted to practice law in New York, the United States Courts of Appeal for the Second and Third Circuits and the United States District Courts for the Southern and Eastern Districts of New York.